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New legislature rule requires premier to answer MPLs questions four times a year

The Eastern Cape Legislature has introduced a new rule that requires the premier of the province to appear before the legislature four times a year to answer questions from MPLs.
The Eastern Cape Legislature has introduced a new rule that requires the premier of the province to appear before the legislature four times a year to answer questions from MPLs.
Image: SUPPLIED

The Eastern Cape Legislature has introduced a new rule that requires the premier of the province to appear before the legislature four times a year to answer questions from MPLs.

Previously, the premier was not scheduled to appear as a lone member before the legislature, other than when there was general question-and-answer session between all members.

Legislature speaker Helen Sauls-August said the rule now allowed for the premier to answer oral questions as the head of provincial government and premier of the province.

The South African legislative sector oversight model refers to accountability as ‘the hallmark of modern democratic governance’

“The South African legislative sector oversight model refers to accountability as ‘the hallmark of modern democratic governance’.

“A legislature’s ability to keep the government accountable for its actions depends on whether and how well a legislature oversees what the government does,” Sauls-August said.

She also announced that the legislature’s standing committee on public accounts would be rolling out training in all districts to strengthen oversight and improve co-operative governance by municipalities.

“The speaker’s provincial forum will also be a vital platform to strengthen the legislative arm of local government and collaboration between the two spheres of government,” she said.

In the 2022-2023 financial year, Sauls-August reminded the portfolio committees of their powers in terms of  Standing Rule 204 to hold members of the executive accountable in terms of adequately responding to house resolutions.

“Engagements with the leader of government business on failures of departments to respond timeously to parliamentary questions yielded positive results in the past financial year,” she said.

“As such, there has been a reduction in the transfer of questions for written reply to the oral question paper.”

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